23 Ideas for Holiday Open House Success
Holiday Open Houses are a crucial element to your 4th quarter business. They are an opportunity to capture holiday sales early, create buzz in the community, and bring customers back a few times before December 25.
Get out ahead of the competition and start spreading goodwill and good cheer. Start early—the first open house of the year has the potential to get the average buyer thinking ahead and making their holiday shopping list. A memorable impression at your event can bring shoppers back a few times between now and December 25.
● Create mini event fliers (think 4 to a page) and insert one into every customer’s bag 2–4 weeks before your event.
● Email your customer base an invitation, including a special offer “for you and a friend” when they mention the secret code (such as SANTA23); this will help you track the effectiveness of your email marketing.
● Post your event flier on social media (Facebook, Facebook Marketplace, etc.) and on community bulletin boards in your area, such as coffee shops, restaurants, grocery stores, gyms, and gas stations.
● Phone your best customers a week before the event to extend a personal invitation. “It won’t be the same without you!”
Promote gifts for every person on your list—students, teachers, and all the women in your life. Group products by interest, personal taste, and budget.
● Give every visitor a coupon for next time. This event isn’t just about today—you’re building future sales, too!
● Pull displays together by price point and theme.
● Encourage shoppers to consider everyone on their shopping list: family, neighbors, teachers, book club, or Bible study friends. Reward buyers with Buy More Save More deals.
● Offer free gift wrap with a minimum purchase.
● Give a discount on multiple buys and complementary items: Buy 2 Regular Price Items, Get 1 Free (equal or lesser value). This promotion accomplishes two goals—you move more products, and your customers benefit from a great buy.
● Offer a prize drawing to gather names and email addresses for your marketing list. Great giveaway ideas include: a giant stocking filled with treats and small gifts (ask all your sales reps for extras!), gift cards for your store, and gift packages from favorite brands you sell.
● Promote tons of Stocking Stuffer products near the register—attractive, easy giftables customers will want to snap up that will increase your average sale.
SET THE SCENE
Go all out—from the minute you walk in the door to the last impression at your cash wrap, make your event festive and filled with holiday good cheer!
● Greet guests with tinkling jingle bells on your front door. Don’t forget a wreath, stocking, or holiday greeting on your door.
● Give shoppers something the moment they enter: a candy cane or other holiday treat, a mini stocking with red and green Hershey’s kisses, a tiny sprig of evergreen tied with a ribbon, or some other party favor.
● Have employees don red and green Santa hats.
● Hang paper snowflakes, silver bells, or glittery stars from the ceiling. Wrap empty boxes in festive paper and bows and place them anywhere you want shoppers to think, “This would make a great gift!”
● Have Santa or Mrs. Claus greet everyone who enters your store.
● Play upbeat, nostalgic, or classic Christmas music throughout your event.
●Offer complimentary hot cocoa or cider, and easy holiday nibbles like Christmas cookies, mini cupcakes, cheese and crackers, veggies, and dip.
● Invite a local choral group to carol throughout your store during your event or to make a special appearance just outside, when you expect to be busiest. You could offer a donation to the group’s favorite charity in exchange for the caroling.
● Live entertainment of any kind is always special—an acoustic guitar and singer, a harp, a violinist. Can you recruit someone from a local college?
● Have Santa on hand for the children (and the big kids). Have a photographer on hand to capture the fun.
● Offer samples of any food or treats you sell during your event. People are entertaining this time of year, and looking for ideas.
Consider partnering with a local charity—this builds awesome PR for your business, and it feels good to help! Inform local TV channels, newspapers, and radio stations, and invite them to your event. Send out a press release. Encourage the charitable organization to invite their stakeholders as well.
● Any women’s or children’s charity would be a good fit.
● Consider a local food shelter: offer a coupon or discount to anyone who brings a nonperishable food item to donate.
● Adopt a family for the holiday season.
● Invite a church youth group to wrap gifts in exchange for donations.
● Partner with Meals on Wheels to support local seniors.
● Partner with an animal shelter in need of food and supplies.
● Connect with any local organization that focuses on your community.
Plan ahead for staffing needs, and ask your team to tell you their best ideas for holiday events. If you live in an area with inclement weather, have a Plan B in case of a snowstorm or rainy day. And take good notes—Christmas will come again next year, and you want to be able to replicate this year’s success for years to come.
The most wonderful time of the year is coming,
and you can set the tone for successful holiday sales
with a fun and fabulous holiday open house.